The Free Motion Quilting Project: Shadow Self Completed

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Shadow Self Completed

Whooo hooo! This morning I finally put the finishing touches on Shadow Self!

If you'd like to read more about this quilt, check out all the parts:

To be perfectly honest, this quilt is not truly finished because it still lacks binding, a tag, and a hanging sleeve. I also need to go through and hide about 300 loose threads over the surface of the quilt and then block the quilt too. Hopefully I'll be able to get to that this afternoon!

Getting the quilting done was my goal for this week but I'm really very surprised I was able to quilt as much as I did in only 4 days.

Here's BEFORE shot of Shadow Self unquilted:

free motion quilting | Leah Day
And here she is quilted:

free motion quilting | Leah Day
In 4 days I quilted 14 of the 16 rays. It's no surprise that my hands are hurting a bit today, but that might be more from going back to yoga this morning than the quilting.

For fillers, I really had a lot of fun with this quilt. I stuck with some oldie goldies, but I also threw in some new favorites as well.

The coolest thing about this quilt is the contrast in texture as well as color. For a long time I've contrasted bold colors with black fabric to create drama in my quilts.

But with this quilt, I wanted to contrast with more than just color. I also contrasted with shapes: straight lines and sharp angles over the dark section and curving, flowing lines over the light section.

My one regret is my choice of dark thread. The thread on the body especially was black and all the textures I created with it are basically lost unless you're standing 10 feet away.

The gray section was a bit better, but next time I will definitely take more time (and fabric samples!) with choosing threads over the darker sections.

Overwhelmingly though, I love her. This is the first show quilt I've created that I haven't absolutely despised by this point in the process.

You've got to understand that these types of quilts are just so time consuming and so intense that by the time I get halfway through the quilting I'm ready to scream with frustration at the sheer insanity of the project.

But that's also the fun part of it too.

I like to equate creating a quilt like this to having a new baby:

The whole process is long, tiresome, and downright uncomfortable at times, and yes, by the end of it I totally hate my life, but after it's all said and done the quilt gets finished and 3 months later I'm ready to do it all over again!

So that's it for this What's Leah Working On Wednesday! I'm off to start packing and planning for the workshop I'm teaching in Greensboro, NC this weekend, and if I have the chance I'll definitely take the afternoon to soak and block Shadow Self as well.

Let's go quilt!

Leah Day


  1. Can't wait to see it completely finished and maybe you'll bring it as you come to our guild this month and show us in person. Can't wait to meet you in person. Hope you bring things for us to buy. Gail

  2. She is looking beautiful. I wish I could see her in person.

  3. Love the light quilting on the dark background!

  4. Stunning! I'm glad you are happy with her...the best part is making your vision come to life. BTW, I used Bubble Curtain in a recent border! (photos on my blog)

  5. Amazing how the fabric color changed with the thread. Lots of work! Beautiful!

  6. Congratulations on the marathon effort - she looks fantastic!

  7. First, let me say.....WOW!
    Your quilt is great and right up my alley, I'm an out of the box sort of quilter. It's unique and bold. The quilting is excellent.
    Great job!!!!!

  8. Stunning quilt--she looks great! Hope I can see her at quilt show.

  9. GORGEOUS, Leah, as always! You know what she needs now? 3000 beads. (ducking, running, just kidding) LOL!!

    Just got the beginner DVD in the mail yesterday, too! Figured for all you've taught me this past year, it's the least I could do, plus I could learn even more!! Thanks again for everything. :)

  10. Leah, you have done another beautiful job on the design, creation and quilting on this spectacular quilt. I would love to see up-close-and-personal pictures of the different quilting designs you used on her!!! Would love to see her in person!

  11. Leah...All I can say is... AMAZING!
    Thank you for sharing all your tips & tricks & knowledge with us! I have learned so much from your blog...except how to get all my UFO's done! LOL


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